Update. June 2013

Who owns Australia's grain?

This year the consolidation of Australia’s food industry has reached a new (and somewhat alarming) high. The ACCC has just approved the $3 billion takeover of Australia's GrainCorp by US giant ADM. The Nationals have criticised the move. It will mean one foreign company will own seven out of the eight port facilites on the east coast. > More at ABC PM and Background Briefing (from 16th June).

This puts the majority of our grain distribution facilities into the hands of large multinational companies. ABB Grain, AWB and now Graincorp have all become foreign-owned in the last 4 years. CBH Group is the only major player (operating in WA) that still Australian owned.
> See a more detailed snapshot here and related ABC article (from May).

Fair Food Week - 19-25 August

What can you do to make a better food system? Be part of Fair Food Week - a move away from the systems dominated by corporate agribusiness. Coordinated by Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, to support the Peoples' Food Plan, Australia’s first-ever Fair Food Week shines a light on our new story of food.
> Get involved with events across the country.
(Also find 'good food near you' at Localharvest.org.au)

Organic lawn care

Agriculture has traditionally been tied to pesticide-related illnesses, however 19 of 30 most commonly used lawn pesticides have been linked to cancer (US data). Other chemicals, such as Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate, are suspected to be an endocrine toxin, a nerve toxin and a reproductive toxin in humans, especially children. See other common toxic pesticides sold for home gardens in Australia and worth avoiding.

> Find alternatives at Safer Solution's Easy Guide to Organic Gardening (AUS) and Beyond Pesticides (US), and see the benefits of organic lawn care in this infographic (US).
> B
etter still, if you can, Dig up your lawn and plant food! Check out this very cool video!
Quick bites ...
  • Coles supermarket group is being investigated by the ACCC for alleged misleading conduct over its "Baked Today, Sold Today" bread, which is actually partially baked and frozen off site (12/6/13) News.com.au
  • Kmart, Target and Cotton On have now signed up to the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Best and Less, Rivers, Just Group and Big W are yet to sign. (Though Big W do intend to. Encouage them by joining the petition at Oxfam and Change.org). More at ABC 4 Corners 'Fashion Victims' (24/6/13)
  • Our website has a new 'Values Screen' feature which allows you to see companies with assessments in the issue areas you care about.
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